Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022:
U.S. Xpress partnering with autonomous developer Aurora
Autonomous truck developer Aurora and U.S. Xpress (CCJ Top 250, No. 16) announced a collaboration to explore the deployment of the Aurora Driver within U.S. Xpress operations. This strategic collaboration is designed to fine-tune Aurora’s autonomous Driver-as-a-Service product, Aurora Horizon, for efficient deployment at commercial scale, the companies said.
Aurora plans to leverage the intelligence of Variant, U.S. Xpress’s digitally enabled fleet, to identify where autonomous technology can have the greatest impact. The companies plan to identify optimal deployment strategies of Aurora Driver-powered trucks, so they’re strategically positioned to address unmet demand and improve operational efficiency and productivity.
Aurora and U.S. Xpress also will explore application programming interface (API) integrations into Variant’s platform to enhance dispatching and dynamic routing upon the launch of Aurora Horizon.
Through this collaboration, the companies plan to build a future where goods are transported by both human drivers and autonomous trucks. Aurora and U.S. Xpress have committed to exploring how autonomous technology can create a positive impact on the labor market by investing in programs that provide opportunities for new jobs.
“The future of trucking will involve innovative technology that Aurora is developing, which is why we’re collaborating now to assure we’re first to market with autonomous trucks,” said Eric Fuller, President and CEO of U.S. Xpress. “Professional truck drivers will always have a place with our company, while autonomous trucks will supplement and help provide much-needed capacity to the supply chain.”
Last month, U.S. Xpress announced an investment into another autonomous trucking firm, TuSimple.
Diesel prices surge past $4/gallon national average
Another significant increase in diesel prices over the last week have the national average over $4 per gallon for the first time since the week ending March 17, 2014, according to the Department of Energy’s weekly report.
The U.S.’ average for a gallon of on-highway diesel increased 6.8 cents during the week ending Feb. 14, rising to $4.019 per gallon. Since the beginning of 2022, diesel prices have soared, increasing by 40.6 cents in the last six weeks.
Prices increased in all regions across the country last week, with the most significant increase being seen in the Central Atlantic region, where prices jumped by 11.2 cents.
The nation’s most expensive diesel can be found in California at $4.994 per gallon, followed by the West Coast less California at $4.261 per gallon.
The cheapest fuel can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $3.785 per gallon, followed by Midwest at $3.884 per gallon.
Prices in other regions, according to DOE, are:
- New England – $4.007
- Central Atlantic – $4.21
- Lower Atlantic – $3.98
- Rocky Mountain – $3.911
ProMiles’ numbers during the same week saw fuel prices increase by 9.7 cents, bringing its national average to $3.834 per gallon.
According to ProMiles’ Fuel Surcharge Index, the most expensive diesel can be found in California at $4.896 per gallon, and the cheapest can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $3.69 per gallon.